Living in India
Advice for British people living in India, including information on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more.
This guide sets out essential information for British nationals residing in India, including advice on health, education, benefits, residence requirements and more. We are unable to provide any guidance on general lifestyle enquiries apart from the information and links listed below. See our information on what consulates can and cannot do for British nationals. This information supplements the travel advice for India.
Entry and residence requirements
British nationals intending to reside in India must be in possession of the necessary visa. Please see the Ministry of Home Affairs website for further information on the types of visas available and the VFS website for how to apply.
On arrival in India you may need to register with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO). Please see the Indian Immigration Bureau website for further information.
Employment and recognised qualifications
Most British qualifications will be recognised in India and British nationals may work in India if they have an appropriate visa and work permit.
If you have retired and you live in India you could claim your pension from the UK. For more information please visit our information on UK benefits and pensions abroad.
Please see our guide to buying property in India for further information. For assistance in property disputes in Punjab please visit the Punjab Police website. The Non Resident Indians Welfare Society website may also be able to offer advice on property disputes.
You should ensure that you have adequate medical insurance as India has limited free medical care and, whilst costs are generally lower than private treatment in the UK, they can rise steeply.
Medical facilities are good in major cities, but limited in rural areas. However, there are some endemic diseases in India, including malaria and dengue. If you need emergency medical assistance, dial 102 and ask for an ambulance. Immediate cash payment could be required for any medical service.
You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
If you are planning to undergo organ transplant surgery in India please check in advance with the hospital what necessary proof they will require of your circumstances in the UK. You may for example need to submit evidence of your marriage and birth of your children before the operation can take place. You can obtain copies of Marriage and Birth certificates from the GRO in the UK as the High Commission cannot provide guarantees and certificates on your behalf.
India drives on the left. UK or international driving licences are valid for driving in India following arrival in the country, but rules on how long you can drive on a UK licence vary from state to state. To arrange for a driving test, you will need to contact the traffic police office in your state of residence.
Road conditions and driving standards in India can be challenging. Vehicles are often in a poor condition and can be found driving on the wrong side of the road, reversing and making u-turns unexpectedly. Care and patience is required to navigate safely.
If involved in an accident call the police immediately and remain calm. Valid insurance is mandatory if you wish to drive whilst in India.
Most expatriates who choose to educate their children in India send them to private schools. There are a range of international, British and American schools in the major cities.
Residents can open an account at most banks in India. Valid ID is necessary. The bank may have additional requirements depending on your residence status, type of account, business/income source etc. For more information please see the Reserve Bank of India guidance and FAQs.
British nationals will be prevented from departing India if not in possession of a valid visa. Please see the Indian Immigration Bureau website for further information.
This information is provided as a general guide and is based upon information provided to the embassy by the relevant local authorities and may be subject to change at any time with little or no notice. The FCO and the British High Commission will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information. British nationals wishing to obtain any further information must contact the relevant local authority.
Published: 24 December 2013
Updated: 7 May 2014
- We have added guidance on organ transplant surgery in India.
- First published.